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Israeli Folk Ensemble comes to Medina and Stark Counties through Arts Midwest World Fest Partnership

UPublish story by Thomas Sigel

Baladino is a leading Israeli Folk Ensemble that will be offering free workshops from Oct 6-12 in Medina and Stark Counties. There will be two public performances on Oct 10 and 12 at Northwest High School, Canal Fulton and Highland High School, Medina.

Medina, Ohio — Baladino, a fresh and exhilarating Israeli world music ensemble will visit Medina and Stark Counties as part of a multi-city Midwest tour coordinated by Minneapolis-based Arts Midwest. The five-member ensemble takes its audience on a joyful journey through music of the Mediterranean region—music carried to Israel by people from Spain, Eastern Europe, Turkey, and Arabic countries. The ensemble name, “Baladino,” is actually a combination of two words. “Baladi” is the name for the most popular rhythm pattern in Middle Eastern music, and the word also means “my land” in the Arabic language. The other word is “Ladino” which is the language primarily spoken among Sephardic Jews and cultural inspiration for much of the music Baladino performs.

Ensemble members include Tomer Moked, a brilliant string player and musical arranger, Adam Ben Ezra provides solid foundation and a hip sound on the string bass, Yael Badash brings rich vocals to the mix, Yonnie Dror adds wonderful color with a variety of wind instruments, while Yshai Afterman holds it all together on percussion with mesmerizing Mediterranean rhythm.

"It’s not often smaller communities like ours have the chance to host international ensembles like Baladino—let alone for a full week," says Thomas Sigel, Executive Director of Ohio Regional Music Arts and Cultural Outreach, the local sponsor of this amazing opportunity. “The music and culture Baladino shares will be absolutely fascinating and different from what we typically hear. Baladino will visit many schools and community locations during the week and present a public concert on October 10 at Northwest High School Auditorium and on October 12, 2013 at Highland High School Auditorium. We expect this residency will be a delightful experience for everyone.”

According to Sigel, ORMACO typically would not have the resources to host week-long residencies of the kind Baladino will offer. Arts Midwest, one of six U.S. Regional Arts Organizations, partners with program sponsors like The National Endowment for the Arts and 3M to cover a substantial portion of the program cost so that communities throughout the Midwest can enjoy this rich arts experience. Medina and Stark Counties were selected as one of only nine Midwestern areas to host the 2013–15 Arts Midwest World Fest and is the only partner region chosen in Ohio “It’s a real honor to be part of this program,” says Sigel.

David Fraher, president & CEO of Arts Midwest notes that “Arts Midwest’s goal is to make meaningful and lasting impressions on the communities that host this program. Our musicians do not simply perform one evening and leave. Rather, they conduct extensive residencies, where they perform in schools and community venues, and offer dozens of workshops about their culture, music and language. We want this to be a rich experience for the entire community.”

Baladino is the first of four ensembles to visit Medina and Stark Counties over the course of this two-year partnership with Arts Midwest. The other ensembles featured in this program will come from Québec, China and Brazil.

Arts Midwest World Fest presents international music ensembles in the nine-state region it serves with the goal of connecting small and mid-sized Midwestern communities to world cultures. Arts Midwest’s organization-wide mission is to “promote creativity, nurture cultural leadership, and engage people in meaningful arts experiences, bringing vitality to Midwest communities and enriching people's lives.”

A program of Arts Midwest, the 2013-2015 Arts Midwest World Fest cycle is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, 3M Foundation, and MetLife Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China for Shangri La, Délégation du Québec a Chicago for Le Vent du Nord, and the Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest for Baladino. This activity is also funded, in part, by the Minnesota State Arts Board through the arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the Legacy Amendment vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.

Arts Midwest World Fest is also generously supported by Illinois Arts Council, Indiana Arts Commission, Iowa Arts Council, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Minnesota State Arts Board, North Dakota Council on the Arts, Ohio Arts Council, South Dakota Arts Council, and Wisconsin Arts Board.

While many businesses and individuals have been involved, on a local level, ORMACO is especially grateful to the following for their support for the upcoming residency: The Medina County District Library, Friends of the Medina County District Library, The Lorain-Medina Rural Electric Cooperative People Fund, The Medina County Arts Council, American Hospitality Group (Galaxy Restaurant and Holiday Inn Express) in Wadsworth for providing accommodations for the Israelis, Highland Local Schools, Northwest Local Schools, Rotary Club of Canal Fulton and Harvest Presbyterian Church.

*Baladino Residency Schedule and Public Performance Information

October 7, 2013

Black River Local School 257A, County Road 40, Sullivan, Ohio, 44880

9:00am-10:50am- Middle School workshop

11-11:50am- High School workshop

7pm-The Lodi United Methodist Church, 320 Medina Street, Lodi, Ohio 44254. Informal community outreach

October 8, 2013

Library Outreach Programs

11-12am- Brunswick Library- 3649 Center Road, Brunswick, Ohio 44212- Pre-school outreach

3-4pm- Buckeye Library- 6625 Wolff Road, Medina, Ohio 44256- Afterschool teen program

7pm-8:30pm-Highland Library- 4160 Ridge Road, Medina, Ohio 44256- Evening program for the community.

October 10, 2013

Northwest Local Schools, Puffenberger Hall, Northwest High School, 8580 Erie Avenue, NW, Canal Fulton, Ohio 44614

1pm- High School Outreach Workshop

7pm-9pm Evening Concert at Puffenberger Hall. Advanced tickets for $10 available at, by phoning 330-722-2541, or at Buehler’s, 7138 Fulton Drive NW, Canton, Ohio, Tel: 330-834-3400. Tickets are $12 at the door.

October 11, 2013

Highland High School Outreach Workshop, 3880 Ridge Road, Medina, Ohio

10am-10:50am- High School Outreach Workshop

11am-11:50am Middle School Outreach Workshop

3pm-4:30pm Teen Workshop at Medina County District Library, 210 South Broadway Street, Medina, Ohio 44256

October 12, 2013

8-10pm Highland High School Auditorium, 3880 Ridge Road, Medina, Ohio 44256. Advanced tickets for $10 available at, by phoning 330-722-2541, or at all Medina County Buehler’s stores beginning September 1, 2013. Tickets are $12 at the door.

The Galaxy Restaurant in Wadsworth will be offering an all-Israeli pre-concert dinner on October 10 and October 12. For reservations call 330-334-3663 and mention the Israeli dinner.

*Workshop times subject to change. Please contact hosting venue to confirm exact details. All programs are free with the exception of the two evening concerts.

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